Master of Science Degree

The Department of Statistics at FSU offers two MS degrees in Statistics: an MS in Statistics (36 Required Credit Hours) and an MS in Statistics with major in Statistical Data Science (32 Required credit hours).

The department also offers an MS degree in Biostatistics (36 Required Credit Hours). All MS degrees may be obtained through course work or a thesis option.

Additionally, there are two tracks available for obtaining an MS degree in Statistics: the applied statistics track and the mathematical statistics track.

  1. The master degree in the applied statistics track is for a student preparing for a career as an applied statistician or as a statistical consultant at the MS level. This program emphasizes statistical computation, methodology, and consulting.
  2. The master degree in the mathematical statistics track places an additional emphasis upon probability theory and statistical inference. This degree prepares graduates to function as statisticians at the MS level and is a preparatory program for pursuing the PhD degree in statistics.
  3. The MS in Statistics with major in Statistical Data Science Major emphasizes hands-on training in the application of data management and statistical methods and the use of data management, computational, and analytic software geared toward producing highly employable masters degree students. In this program, students will obtain a background in applied statistical methods, and proficiency in the software packages SAS and R to solve data management and analysis problems for the most common scenarios facing data-driven decisions in government and industry.
  4. The MS in biostatistics degree prepares students to apply statistical principles, processes, applications, and analytical methods to design, implement, and analyze health related studies including both experimental (clinical trials) and observational (epidemiological) studies.

All of the MS degrees provide a route to a career in statistics. Prospective students should note that the MS in statistics, mathematical statistics track and MS in biostatistics degrees provide the best preparation for continuation into the doctoral programs (PhD in statistics or biostatistics) in this department. A student who finishes the applied statistics program can continue into a PhD program upon completion of the core courses for the MS in mathematical statistics or the MS in biostatistics (as given in Tables 4 and 8) and passing the PhD qualifying exams.

The total academic credits required for graduation for each the statistics and biostatistics MS degrees is 36 credit hours. The MS in Statistical Data Science requires 32 credit hours. The minimum cumulative GPA in all courses is 3.0. No more than two courses for the MS degrees (Mathematical Statistics, Applied Statistics, Biostatistics, and Statistical Data Science) may be taken S/U and all required courses must be taken for a letter grade.

For all of the degrees, programs of study are developed individually in consultation between students and their academic advisors. A program of study must by completed by all students by the end of their first semester in the department, and the program should be updated annually. Each students program of study must be approved by the students academic advisor and by the department chair. If a student has already taken a course listed as required, it need not be repeated. Instead, the student should substitute a more advanced course or an alternate course.

Students usually begin working toward this degree during the fall semester.

 

Elective and Outside Courses for all Masters Degrees

All courses listed on the graduate courses webpage will be accepted as elective courses, except STA5126, STA5172, STA5206, STA5207, STA5323, and STA5440 (these six courses were designed for graduate students in other departments and colleges).

 

Master of Science in the Applied Statistics Track

Table 2 presents the required courses for receiving the MS degree in Statistics (for either option) and Table 3 presents a typical course sequence for this option.

 

Table 2: Required courses for MS in the Applied Statistics Track. All courses are three credit hours.

Course Number Course Name
STA5166 Statistics in Applications I
STA5167 Statistics in Applications II
STA5326 Distribution Theory and Inference
STA5327 Statistical Inference
At least two of the following courses:
STA5066 Data Management and Analysis with SAS
STA5106 Computational Methods in Statistics I
STA5168 Statistics in Applications III
STA5856 Time Series and Forecasting Methods

 

Table 3: A typical course program for the MS in the Applied Statistics Track.

Year 1 Year 2
Fall Spring Fall Spring
STA5166 STA5167 Elective Elective
STA5326 STA5327 Elective Elective
Required course or elective Required course or elective Elective Elective

 

 

Master of Science in the Mathematical Statistics Track

The Master of Science degree in the mathematical statistics track prepares a student for a professional career in industry or government, for a teaching career in a small college, or for further study toward the doctorate in statistics. The program emphasizes statistical theory, probability theory and mathematical analysis, as well as applied statistics.

Students selecting the mathematical statistics option have often completed the essentials of an undergraduate mathematics major. Normal entry to the program is in the fall semester. Students selecting this option without two semesters of advanced calculus (MAA 4226-7 or its equivalent) may require more than four semesters to complete their MS requirements. Table 4 presents the required courses for this track and Table 5 presents a typical course sequence for this option.

 

Table 4: Required courses for the MS in the Mathematical Statistics Track. All courses are three credit hours.

Course Number Course Name
STA5106 Computational Methods in Statistics I
STA5166 Statistics in Applications I
STA5326 Distribution Theory and Inference
STA5327 Statistical Inference
At least two of the following courses:
STA5167 Statistics in Applications II
STA5707 Applied Multivariate Analysis
STA6346 Advanced Probability and Inference I
STA6448 Advanced Probability and Inference II

 

A typical program for the student who has taken none of the required core courses is given in Table 6. Additionally, attendance, each semester, in STA 5920r, Statistics Colloquium is encouraged.

 

Table 5: A typical program for the first two years of graduate study for students pursuing the MS degree, Mathematical Statistics Track. All courses are 3 credits.

Year 1 Year 2
Fall Spring Fall Spring
STA5166 Required course or elective STA6346 or elective STA6448 or elective
STA5326 STA5327 Elective Elective
STA5106 Required course or elective Elective Elective

 

 

Master of Science in Statistics with Major in Statistical Data Science

The Master of Science in Statistical Data Science emphasizes hands-on training in the application of statistical methods and the use of computational and analytic software geared toward producing highly employable masters degree students. In this program, students will obtain a background in applied statistical methods, and proficiency in the software packages SAS and R to solve data management and analysis problems for the most common scenarios facing data-driven decisions in government and industry. A SAS certificate adds to employability and may be obtained simultaneously. The degree may be completed in three semesters and requires 32 units. Table 6 presents the required courses for this major. Table 7 presents
a typical course sequence for this major.

 

Table 6: Required Courses for the Master of Science Degree in Statistics with Major in Statistical Data Science

(3) STA5166 Statistics in Applications I
(3) STA5167 Statistics in Applications II
(3) STA5066 Data Management and Analysis with SAS
(3) STA5067 Advanced Data Management and Analysis with SAS
(3) STA5106 Computational Methods in Statistics I
(3) STA5856 Time Series and Forecasting Methods
(3) STA5635 Applied Machine Learning
(1) STA5910* Supervised Research: Professional Skills Seminar
(3) STA5939 Introduction to Statistical Consulting (Capstone project)

*Two semesters required.

Parenthetical numbers are credit hours.

 

Table 7: A typical program of study for students pursuing the Master of Science Degree in Statistics with Major in Statistical Data Science.*

Semester 1 Semester 2 Semester 3
(3) STA5166 (3) STA5167 (3) Elective
(3) STA5066 (3) STA5067 (3) Elective
(3) STA5106 (3) STA5856 (3) STA5635
(1) STA5910 (1) STA5910 (3) STA5939

*The table provides only one possible sequence for taking the required courses.

Parenthetical numbers are credit hours.

 

Master of Science in Biostatistics

This Master of Science in Biostatistics prepares graduates for employment in private, academic and public sector research and health care settings. The degree emphasizes the application of statistical principles, processes, applications, and analytic methods to design, implement, and analyze health related studies including both experimental (clinical trials) and observational (epidemiological) studies. The degree requirements of 36 semester credit hours include coursework in biostatistics and statistical theory and methods. Table 8 presents the required courses for receiving this degree.

 

Table 8: Required courses for MS in Biostatistics. All courses are three credit hours.

Course Number Course Name
STA5166 Statistics in Applications I
STA5167

Statistics in Applications II

STA5198 Epidemiology for Statisticians
STA5244 Fundamentals of Clinical Trials
STA5326 Distribution Theory and Inference
STA5327 Statistical Inference
At least one of the following courses:
STA5179 Applied Survival Analysis
STA5066 Data Management and Analysis with SAS
STA5934 Longitudinal Analysis

Flexibility is allowed in selecting additional course work for the Biostatistics Degree. The final selection of courses will be determined by the student and their major professor.

 

Table 9: A typical program of graduate study for students pursuing the MS Degree in Biostatistics. All courses are three credits.

Year 1 Year 2
Fall Spring Fall Spring
STA5166 Required course or elective Elective Elective
STA5326 STA5327 Elective Elective
STA5106 Required course or elective Elective Elective

 

Master of Science in Statistics or Biostatistics, Thesis Option

The thesis option requires writing a thesis and an oral defense before the thesis committee. For the thesis option, the student may replace two of the elective courses with thesis hours.

A student selecting the thesis option must meet the university requirements for thesis submission. These requirements include clearance and formatting, human subjects clearance (if appropriate), and meeting the deadline for the submission of the final version of the thesis to the graduate school. For a complete list of requirements, consult the degree requirement section of the university graduate bulletin.